Caramel Sundae with Cinnamon-Sugar Chips

Ingredients (23)

For the caramel ice cream:

  • Ice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, scraped, and seeds reserved
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

For the cinnamon-sugar chips:

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 10 (8-inch) flour tortillas, each cut into 8 wedges

For the bittersweet chocolate sauce:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Caramel Sundae with Cinnamon-Sugar Chips

For our Super Bowl party, we wanted a dessert that guests could put together on their own (so the host wouldn’t be pulled away from the game) yet would still fit into the Tex-Mex theme of the menu. We created a sundae inspired by flavors found in many Tex-Mex desserts. The Caramel Ice Cream is a bit salty, the chocolate sauce is slightly bittersweet, and the Cinnamon-Sugar Chips are a riff on the churros commonly seen in Mexican markets.

Game plan: For a slacker solution, you can use any good-quality, store-bought caramel or dulce de leche ice cream. You could also use good-quality store-bought chocolate sauce and, in place of the cinnamon-sugar chips, broken-up churros or snickerdoodle cookies.

For a party, set out the ice cream (on ice, of course), chocolate sauce, and chips, then have people help themselves.

This recipe was featured as part of our Super Bowl for a Crowd menu.


For the caramel ice cream:
  1. 1Prepare an ice water bath by filling a bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Combine the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla seeds in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. 2Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Let boil until the mixture turns dark amber in color and smells toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and slowly add the cream mixture, whisking until evenly incorporated. Return the saucepan to the stove and place over medium-low heat to keep warm.
  3. 3Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl until pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1 cup of the caramel sauce into the eggs. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining caramel sauce, stir in the salt, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is as viscous as melted ice cream and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the custard, which should not run back in on itself.)
  4. 4Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over the ice water bath to chill, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. 5Once the ice cream base is cold, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once it’s chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

For the cinnamon-sugar chips:

  1. 1Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. 2Heat the oil in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, or until it registers 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside.
  3. 3Once the oil is hot, add a handful of tortilla wedges, being careful not to crowd them, and fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with generous amounts of the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. (Check the oil temperature in between batches and adjust the heat accordingly.) Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the chips and serve.

For the bittersweet chocolate sauce:

  1. 1Combine the cream, milk, water, cocoa powder, corn syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until the cocoa powder has completely dissolved.
  2. 2Remove from heat and add the chocolate, butter, and vanilla, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve warm.

To make a sundae:

  1. 1Place 2 scoops of the ice cream in a bowl, then break up 4 or 5 of the chips and scatter them over top. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the chocolate sauce and serve.
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